Stanford’s Free Tuition Model: A Bold New Approach to Financial Aid

By Phill Powell

Stanford University has a reputation for progressive academic policies, so it’s not surprising that one of the hottest colleges in America has just launched a bold new initiative to make a Stanford education available to even more students.

stanford_palm_treesThe road to Stanford just got easier for families eager to send kids to the nation’s hottest university.

Stanford students from families whose parent(s) make $125,000 or less each year will not be asked to pay any tuition at all. That’s an annual savings of about $65,000.

The Fine Print
A Stanford education still won’t be absolutely free. Aside from money for living expenses, each Stanford student must annually contribute $5,000 toward their education, with funds earned through work-study programs or other employment.

Plus, the new program has other stipulations, such as how much a family can own in non-salary assets. Even so, this is welcome news for families trying to live the dream of sending a kid to one of America’s most prestigious universities.

Rich and Respected
Stanford is able to expand its financial aid program because it has one of the wealthiest financial endowments around: $21.4 billion in 2014. And Stanford has been the top fundraising university in the U.S. for several years. (In 2012, Stanford became the first university to raise more than $1 billion in a single year.)

The reason Stanford University commands such donations is its reputation as arguably the nation’s best college. Its only serious rivals for that title seem to be East Coast “Ivy League” institutions such as Harvard, Princeton and Yale. According to the The New York Times, “Stanford University has become America’s ‘it’ school.”

The Long Road to Stanford
Stanford is the nation’s most selective university, and getting accepted isn’t easy. And it doesn’t happen overnight. Families who seriously want their child to get a Stanford education need to realize that they have to start early. For a teenager to win acceptance to Stanford, they must have first started their journey toward that achievement years earlier. And they need to be able to demonstrate their natural talents and creative interests.

DMA_animation_studentBefore they can get accepted to Stanford, students need to strut their stuff academically. Learning computer skills in subjects like 3D animation is one way to strengthen their academic profile.

For lots of kids, that journey starts with an amazing summer camp experience at Digital Media Academy, where they attend tech camps in a wide range of today’s hottest creative subjects: app development, game design, filmmaking, Web design, robotics, music production and more.

DMA tech camps teach kids (ages 6-12) and teens (12-17) how to create things and express themselves. It all leads to a greater sense of achievement and a final project which they create…and can be included with that all-important college application.

How to Save Time and Tuition
With college costs always climbing, figuring out how to finance kids’ college education has become even more important to families. For many families, the costs are so great that they want to make absolutely sure that their student’s choice of school and academic major will lead them toward a successful career in their chosen field. Digital Media Academy can help kids and families prioritize career goals.

Spending a week at a DMA filmmaking camp, for example, may reveal that your child has amazing instincts for doing film work. And DMA camp gives kids and teens a chance to “try on” creative work roles associated with their course of study. It’s an early way to find out which personal interests really make sense for your child’s future…and which ones definitely aren’t a good fit.

DMA_robotics_studentSuccess is a process…and it starts early, like when kids are able to identify career goals while attending DMA summer tech camps.

A Plan for Their Future
Registration is going on now for this summer’s DMA tech camp season, and classes are filling up quickly. The time to start your child down that road to Stanford (or another quality college) is this summer, with a thrilling summer camp experience at one of the great DMA camp locations across the U.S. and Canada.